Duane McKenna, Ph.D, William Hill Professor in Biology

Duane McKenna

William Hill Professor in Biology

Ellington 325, Memphis, TN 38152
Office Hours
By Appointment

About Dr. McKenna

Dr. McKenna joined the Department in 2010. He teaches BIOL 4100/6100 Evolution, and BIOL900/6900 Entomology. Dr. McKenna studies beetle systematics, genomics, evolution & diversity. Specific interests include the phylogeny and evolution of beetles (order Coleoptera) and other insects, the evolution and genomic basis of plant-feeding, and interactions between beetles and plants on ecological and evolutionary time scales. Other interests include the evolution of insect genomes, and geographic patterns of insect (especially beetle) diversity and endemism. Most research in the McKenna lab is highly collaborative, involving students and other researchers worldwide. In recognition of the impacts of habitat loss/degradation and climate change on biodiversity, some projects also have conservation biological goals and implications. Dr. McKenna leads the 1,000 Weevils Phylogeny and Evolution Project (1K Weevils) and is a collaborator on the 1,000 Insect Transcriptome Evolution Project (1KITE) and the Insect 5,000 Genomes Project (i5k). He is involved in studies of insect biodiversity in Central and South America, Africa, and Australia. Dr. McKenna is a member of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Entomological Society of America, Society for the Study of Evolution, Coleopterist's Society, and Council on Undergraduate Research.

Research Interests

  •  Phylogeny and evolution of beetles (order Coleoptera) and other insects
  •  Evolution and genomic basis of phytophagy (plant-feeding)
  •  Geographic patterns of (especially tropical) insect diversity and endemism


Ph.D. Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University; Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology

Recent Publications

  • Sharkey, C.R., M.S. Fujimoto, N.P. Lord, S. Shin, D.D. McKenna, A. Suvorov, G.J. Martin, S.M. Bybee. 2017. Beetle UV opsin gene duplications restore the lost short wave Insect opsin class. Nature, Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00061-7

  • Mitchell, R.F., L.P. Hall, P.F. Reagel, D.D. McKenna, T.C. Baker, & J.G. Hildebrand. 2017. Odorant receptors and antennal lobe morphology offer a new approach to understanding the olfactory biology of the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis). Journal of Comparative Physiology A. DOI: 10.1007/s00359-016-1138-4

  • McKenna, D.D., E.D. Scully, Y. Pauchet, K. Hoover, R. Kirsch, S.M. Geib, R.F. Mitchell, R.M. Waterhouse, S. Ahn, D. Arsala, A.K. Bennett, J.B. Benoit, H. Blackmon, T. Bledsoe, J.H. Bowsher, A. Busch, B. Calla, H. Chao, C. Childers, D.J. Clarke, L. Cohen, J.P. Demuth, H. Dinh, H. Doddapaneni, A. Dolan, J.J. Duan, S. Dugan, M. Friedrich, K.M. Glastad, M.A.D. Goodisman, S. Haddad, Y. Han, D.S.T. Hughes, P. Ioannidis, J.S. Johnston, J.W. Jones, L.A. Kuhn, D.R. Lance, C. Lee, S.L. Lee, H. Lin, J.A. Lynch, A.P. Moczek, S.C. Murali, D.M. Muzny, D.R. Nelson, S.R. Palli, K.A. Panfilio, D. Pers, M.F. Poelchau, H. Quan, J. Qu, A.M. Ray, J.P. Rinehart, H.M. Robertson, R. Roehrdanz, A.J. Rosendale, S. Shin, C. Silva, A.C. Torson, I.M. Vargas-Jentzsch, J.H. Werren, K.C. Worley, G. Yocum, E.M. Zdobnov, R.A. Gibbs and S. Richards. 2016. Genome of the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), a globally significant invasive species, reveals key functional and evolutionary innovations at the beetle-plant interface. Genome Biology. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12132; 40(4): 835-880. Also featured in Science (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6316/twil)

  • Haddad, S., & D.D. McKenna. 2016. Phylogeny and evolution of superfamily Chrysomeloidea (Coleoptera: Cucujiformia). Systematic Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12179

  • Kjer, K.H. Aspock, U. Aspock, R.G. Beutel, A. Blanke, A. Donath, T. Flouri, P. Frandsen, L. Jermiin, P. Kapli, A. Kawahara, K., R. Lanfear, H. Letsch, C. Mayer, D.D. McKenna, K. Meusemann, O. Niehuis, R. Peters, J. Rust, A. Stamatakis, B.v. Reumont, T. Wappler, J. Ware, B. Wiegmann, D. Yeates, X. Zhou, B. Misof. 2015. Response to comment on 'Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution'. Science 349 (6247): 487-488.

  • McKenna, D.D., A.L. Wild, K. Kanda, C.L. Bellamy, R.G. Beutel, M.S. Caterino, C.W. Farnum, D.C. Hawks, M.A. Ivie, M.L. Jameson, R.A.B. Leschen, A.E. Marvaldi, J.V. McHugh, A.F. Newton, J.A. Robertson, M.K. Thayer, M.F. Whiting, J.F. Lawrence, A. Ślipiński, D.R. Maddison, B.D. Farrell. 2015. The Beetle Tree of Life Reveals Coleoptera Survived End Permian Mass Extinction to Diversify During the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution. Systematic Entomology DOI: 10.1111/syen.12132

  • Robertson, J.A., A. Ślipiński, M. Moulton, F.W. Shockley, A. Giorgi, N.P. Lord, D.D. McKenna, W. Tomaszewska, J. Forrester, K.B. Miller, M.F. Whiting, J.V. McHugh. 2015. Phylogeny and classification of the beetle superfamily Cucujoidea and the recognition of a new superfamily Coccinelloidea (Coleoptera: Cucujiformia). Systematic Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12138.

  • Scully, E.D., S.M. Geib, J.E. Carlson, M. Tien, D.D. McKenna, K. Hoover. 2014. Functional genomics and microbiome profiling of the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) reveal new insights into the digestive physiology and nutritional ecology of wood-feeding beetles. BMC Genomics 15: 1096. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-1096

  • Misof, B., S. Liu, K. Meusemann, R.S. Peters, A. Donath, C. Mayer, P.B. Frandsen, J. Ware, T. Flouri, R.G. Beutel, O. Niehuis, M. Petersen, F. Izquierdo-Carrasco, T. Wappler, J. Rust, A. J. Aberer, U. Aspock, H. Aspock, D. Bartel, A. Blanke, S. Berger, A. Bohm, T. Buckley, B. Calcott, J. Chen, F. Friedrich, M. Fukui, M. Fujita, C. Greve, P. Grobe, S. Gu, Y. Huang, L.S. Jermiin, A.Y. Kawahara, L. Krogmann, M. Kubiak, R. Lanfear, H. Letsch, Y. Li, Z. Li, J. Li, H. Lu, R. Machida, Y. Mashimo, P. Kapli, D.D. McKenna, G. Meng, Y. Nakagaki, J.L. Navarrete-Heredia, M. Ott, Y. Ou, G. Pass, L. Podsiadlowski, H. Pohl, B.M. v. Reumont, K. Schutte, K. Sekiya, S. Shimizu, A. Slipinski, A. Stamatakis, W. Song, X. Su, Nikolaus U. Szucsich, M. Tan, X. Tan, M. Tang, J. Tang, G. Timelthaler, S. Tomizuka, M. Trautwein, X. Tong, T. Uchifune, M.G. Walzl, B. Wiegmann, J. Wilbrandt, B. Wipfler, K. F. Wong, Q. Wu, G. Wu, Y. Xie, S. Yang, Q. Yang, D.K. Yeates, K. Yoshizawa, Q. Zhang, R. Zhang, W. Zhang, Y. Zhang, J. Zhao, C. Zhou, L. Zhou, T. Ziesmann, S. Zou, Y. Li, X. Xu, Y. Zhang, H. Yang, J. Wang, J. Wang, K.M. Kjer, X. Zhou. Phylogenomics Resolves the Timing and Pattern of Insect Evolution. 2014. Science 346: 763-767. (Cover)

  • McKenna, D.D., B.D. Farrell, M.S. Caterino, C.W. Farnum, D.C. Hawks, D.R. Maddison, A.E. Seago, A.E.Z. Short, A.F. Newton, M.K. Thayer. (2014). Phylogeny and evolution of Staphyliniformia and Scarabaeiformia (rove and scarab beetles): Forest litter as a stepping-stone for diversification of non-phytophagous beetles. Systematic Entomology DOI: 10.1111/syen.12093